We’ve all had them; those customers for whom nothing you ever do is enough, or everything you do is wrong, or you’re blamed for everything that isn’t your fault. A picky customer is usually like that with every situation.
It’s probably not just you.
It could be that their character is simply one for whom nothing reaches the level of perfection they are looking for.
What can you do if you come across one of these hard-to-please situations?
Here are five ideas that might help:
1) Make sure everything you plan for your customer (whether it’s a Statement of Works, Service Level Agreement or a simple contract for what you have agreed) is in place.
This sets out the rules of thumb that you both agree to, and it should be watertight from your end.
2) Ensure you work to the standards that are expected.
Don’t shirk your responsibilities or try to cut corners.
A picky customer will pick up on everything, so if you are installing something, make sure you clean up, pack away and give them nothing to pick up on.
If you give a promise, ensure you follow up on it.
Keep yourself squeaky clean in all respects.
3) Try your hardest not to lose your temper or shout back.
You don’t want to put fuel on the fire, or give them reasons to be more antagonistic.
If you can stay calm, there is very little they can use to fight back against you.
4) Ask them precisely what is is they are complaining about so you are perfectly clear on what the concern is, and ask what precisely they want to happen to make it different.
That way, you aren’t being defensive (yet) but you make it clear you are listening and can weigh up the reasons for the pickiness.
5) If necessary, find a compromise position that will make the customer happy and still maintain a profitable position for you.
If that’s not possible, you may have to bite the bullet on this one, but you’ll always remember that you only have to deal with this customer once.
Their picky disposition may be annoying and disconcerting to face, but you can always finish and walk away.
Remember…they will be like this with every supplier or service provider…it’s not just you.
But at least you can walk away and let someone else feel the heat next!
What you don’t want, of course, is the picky customer to sound off on social media about the experience they have endured with you.
But if you remain professional, have an assertive but fair manner and work on offering the best service and quality you can, you always can have a clear conscience you’ve tried everything possible before moving on.